Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, sometimes referred to as abdominal mesothelioma, or chrysotile (white asbestos) peritoneal mesothelioma, is a cancer of the cells lining the abdominal cavity, or peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma represents about one fifth to one third of all forms of mesothelioma and is a rapidly fatal malignancy with a median survival of less than 1 year. A small percentage of patients have a history of asbestos exposure while a search for other cancer-causing agents continues. Traditional treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and combined approaches utilizing multiple types of therapy (multimodality).

The peritoneum is made of two parts, the visceral and parietal peritoneum. The visceral peritoneum is a continuation of the parietal peritoneum reflected at various places over the viscera, forming a complete covering for the stomach, spleen, liver, intestines from the distal duodenum to the upper end of the rectum, uterus, and ovaries; it also partially covers some other abdominal organs. It holds the viscera in position by its folds, including the mesenteries; the omenta; and the ligaments of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, bladder, and uterus.

The parietal peritoneum are the layers of tissue that line the abdominal wall and the pelvic cavity. The potential space between the visceral and the parietal peritoneum is the peritoneal cavity. The general cavity communicates by the omental foramen with the bursa omentalis (or lesser peritoneal cavity).
Visceral Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma is an extremely rare condition with only 100 to 500 reported cases of this condition diagnosed in the US each year.

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